Nespresso vs. Keurig: Which Space-Saving Single-Serve Coffee Maker Is Best for You?


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nespresso vertuo pop vs keurig mini plus coffee makers
Paula Boudes for PureWow

Lattes, cappuccinos, cold adoration for the perfect cup of coffee knows no bounds. And though part of me wishes I was the type of person who would whip out the frother and turn on a fancy espresso machine each morning, it's much easier (with my eyes still half-closed) to pop in a coffee pod of my choice to a single-serve coffee maker and let the machine do its thing.

There are tons of machines out there these days that require no more than the touch of a button to get a steamy cup of java in your hands, but we tested two of the most popular brands, Nespresso and Keurig, in their most compact, space-saving sizes (small space dwellers, rejoice!). Keep reading to find out everything we loved—and a few things we didn't—about the Nespresso Vertuo Pop+ ($129) and Keurig Mini Plus (was $110, now $87) machines.

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How I Tested the Nespresso Vertuo Pop+ vs. the Keurig Mini Plus

Over several weeks, I tested the full features of each machine, brewing different sizes, strengths and pods of coffee and espresso. With the Nespresso machine, I used the Melozio pods for full-sized coffee and the Double Espresso Dolce pods for espresso. Meanwhile with the Keurig machine, I opted for the Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Horizon blend and Nantucket blend pods. I selected these options because I usually prefer a medium roast coffee and espresso on the lower end of the bitterness scale, but also wanted to expand my tasting a bit, too.

My Review: Nespresso Vertuo Pop+ Machine


  • smart machine
  • more elevated coffee experience
  • makes both coffee and espresso


  • less pod options
  • louder than expected
  • not as compact


  • Ease of Use: 19/20
  • Compactness: 18/20
  • Drink Quality: 19/20
  • Sound Level: 17/20
  • Overall Value: 18/20
  • Total: 91/100

One of the first things I noticed about the Nespresso Vertuo Pop+ machine was that it seemed perfectly uncomplicated to use. Detailed instructions are included on setting up your machine, though it should be noted that the machine *must* be connected to the Nespresso app before beginning setup (I first tried without connecting the machine and wasn't able to begin the rinse cycle). The process is super simple, though. All you'll need to do is clean the attached water tank (which measures 32 ounces, so you can get several cups of coffee out of it before refilling) , download the app and launch it to select "my machine." From here, you connect to the machine via Bluetooth and WiFi, then select the "rinse" cycle to ensure your machine is clean and ready to use (there are also super helpful videos on the app in case you need a refresher!). The smart aspects of this machine are helpful, too, to let you know when the water is too low for the pod you've selected, or any other brewing issues, by a simple notification to your phone via the Nespresso app alerting you to the issue.

Beyond the smart features, I also loved that this machine brews more "coffeehouse style" drinks. Rather than your average smooth cup that you normally get from a standard drip coffee maker or a Keurig, the Nespresso drinks are topped with a bit of foaminess that made me feel like it was a bit more special and added to the taste. It was also great to have the option to brew espresso, which I usually prefer to full-sized cups of coffee, especially for when I just wanted a little pick-me-up to tackle that dreaded afternoon slump or to try my hand at the perfect espresso martini.

A few things I didn't love? One was that, because the water tank attached to the side of the machine, it took up more of my counter space than I would have liked (it measures 8.6 inches by 14 inches by 10.4 inches). There also aren't quite as many varieties when it comes to pod choices—you can get delicious flavored coffees and even half-caf, but options like hot chocolate and tea aren't available (There are just over 50 pod varieties available on the Nespresso website right now, compared to more than 400 K-Cup options on Keurig's website, though it's worth noting that there may be others available at your local stores or at other retailers like Amazon and Target). And though the pods are recyclable, it still felt a bit wasteful to use a new one with each brew (though this could be remedied with a reusable pod, but I haven't had the chance to try this method yet.) It's also worth noting the Nespresso pods are a bit pricier than K-Cups—a pack of ten costs $10 to $20 for Nespresso pods, whereas a pack of 12 Keurig K-Cups starts as low as $8.

Fast Facts

  • Brew options: espresso and coffee
  • Cost of pods: $10-$20/sleeve of ten to $87/limited-edition 60-pack
  • Color options: Pacific Blue, Spicy Red, Liquorice Black, Aqua Mint, Mango Yellow, Dark Grey, Titan, Silver, Coconut White

My Review: Keurig Mini Plus Machine


  • Ease of Use: 19/20
  • Compactness: 20/20
  • Drink Quality: 17/20
  • Sound Level: 17/20
  • Overall Value: 19/20
  • Total: 92/100

When pulling the Keurig Mini Plus machine out of its box, the first thing I noticed was just how compact this one was. This machine can easily fit on any countertop and is great to slide in between other appliances, too, to really maximize your counter space (it measures 12.1 inches by 4.5 inches by 11.3 inches). The water tank is located on the top of this machine, and though it does need to be refilled with each cup of coffee as the machine will use the full amount of water added (just fill the tank to your desired ounces between six and 12), I found I actually appreciated the water being fresh every time. It also came with a matching K-cup storage container, which was a nice touch.

So what did I love about the Keurig Mini Plus machine? First of all, this one was super easy to set up. Instructions are included, but basically all you need to do is fill eight ounces of water into the tank and run the machine without a K-cup to cleanse it, and after that, you're good to go! As I mentioned, I also loved the small size, and additionally liked the variety of options available with the K-Cup pods—you can grab everything from seasonally flavored coffees to cozy hot cocoa and tasty teas. The strong brew option on this machine was another huge plus. It's a simple button on the top of the machine marked "strong" that you can select to increase the intensity of your coffee. I especially loved using this with the medium roast, as I found it gave it a stronger taste without adding some of the bitterness that can come with a dark roast.

As for the cons, there are a few things to consider. Like with the Nespresso Vertuo Pop+ machine, the pods are single use, despite being recyclable (but, again, you have the option of grabbing a reusable pod). It can also be a bit difficult to see the numbers on the Mini Plus machine's water tank when you fill it. The numbers are small and in the same clear material as the tank, so they easily blend in. For me, this wasn't really an issue as I'm almost always reaching for the biggest cup I can, but still should be noted. Again similar to the Nespresso, this machine was louder than I expected when operating, though this one may have been a smidge quieter. And finally, while I think the taste and quality of the coffee from this machine largely depends on the pod you choose, it doesn't quite have that "elevated" feel that the Nespresso does, as it brews more of a standard cup without any of the foaminess at the top.

Fast Facts

  • Brew options: coffee, tea, hot chocolate, hot cider
  • Cost of pods: from $8/12-pack to $60/88-pack
  • Color options: Matte Black, Cardinal Red, Studio Grey, Evening Teal, Matte White, Cool Aqua, Misty Green

What's the Difference Between Keurig and Nespresso Coffee Makers?

One of the main differences between Keurig and Nespresso machines is the types of drinks you can make in them. Nespresso Vertuo pods come in many different coffee varieties including coffee in multiple sizes, ristretto, espresso and double espresso. Keurig pods are available for a wider variety of drinks including coffee, tea, hot chocolate and hot cider, however with most Keurig machines, espresso isn't an option.

Can You Use Keurig Pods in Nespresso Coffee Makers?

Because the pods are different shapes and have different features (like the smart detection in the Nespresso pods), Keurig K-Cup pods are not compatible with Nespresso machines.

Why Are Nespresso Pods so Expensive?

While many factors go into the costs of products (including sourcing, labor costs, raw materials, etc.), one thing that may play into Nespresso pods being a bit more expensive is their smart features. As mentioned above, the machine is able to detect the correct size of your drink just by the pod you place in it (no need to fill the tank to an exact line or remember to switch the setting) and this added technology likely adds to the cost as well.

The Bottom Line: Which Coffee Maker Is Better?

When it comes to deciding which coffee maker is better, it really depends on your coffee preferences and what you're hoping to get out of the machine. Since I have *very* limited counter space, I appreciated the more compact size of the Keurig Mini Plus, along with the wider variety of pods available. However, if you're wanting a bit more of a luxurious experience for your morning coffee routine, or if you prefer espresso-based drinks, the Nespresso Pop+ machine is probably a better bet.

natalie bio photo e1692204716113

Assistant Commerce Editor

Natalie LaBarbera is PureWow's assistant commerce editor. She writes about all things shopping, including fashion, beauty, travel, wellness and more, searching for the best...

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